Constructing snow flies for the Alaskan climate

January 1, 2017  |  How-To Articles, In the Shop, Projects, Resources

Our winters in Fairbanks, Alaska, can be cold or very cold with lots of snow or little snow; it all depends. One condition we don’t see often is wind. In my 26 years of living here, I can remember only one time when the wind blew and the snow flew. Most of our snow falls … <div><a href="htt…
Meticulous prototyping leads to attractive cylinder cushions

September 1, 2016  |  How-To Articles, Interiors & Upholstery, Projects

Over the years I have been asked to fabricate several unusual items. I never know if that item will be a one-hit wonder or will become a customer favorite. In most cases, I create prototypes that help me creatively solve design challenges. I charge a prototype fee of a few hundred dollars to develop…
Complex and compound frame bending

July 1, 2016  |  How-To Articles, Projects

Incorporating unconventional design into dodgers and biminis. I often suggest that my customers try to think out of the box when envisioning what their boats can look like. I tell them, “If I have done my job properly, the cover will become part of the boat.” Take a spray dodger, for example. I …
Lazy Jack – stack pack sail covers

March 1, 2016  |  How-To Articles, Projects

These names are some of the descriptions for a process of suspending sail covers. I started making these Lazy Jack covers 20 years ago, as a progress/advance of the Lazy Jack rope system, designed to help flake a main sail as it is put away. The idea was to connect the rope to a sail … <div><…
Working with pattern angles

September 1, 2015  |  How-To Articles, Projects

This article is a preview of our hands-on presentation at the Marine Fabricators Conference this coming Jan. 14-16 in Clearwater, Fla. I want to talk about manipulation of pattern angles for both better quality and less time spent patterning. I will attempt to simplify and not talk about one-step pa…
Covering canvas repairs

May 1, 2015  |  How-To Articles, Projects

Editor’s note: Don Racine, a longtime Marine Fabricators Association member and supporter, died on April 18 as the result of a heart attack. He was 61. View Don Racine’s full obituary. This article is about canvas repairs: We will discuss bimini tops, cockpit covers and full-boat travel …
The science of vinyl discoloration

May 1, 2014  |  Feature, How-To Articles

How it happens & how to prevent it Look around a typical marina during the summer months and you will see dozens of vessels—some new, some old, some big, some small, and perhaps a few that show signs of transient color changes in the PVC fabrics being used. For more than 50 years, PVC discolor…